Class members aiding program

Class members aiding program

Katie Monsour (second from left) and some of her students (left to right) Becca Smith, Victoria Snyder and Vannay Kirkland are working on a social-action requirement that collects school supplies for Summer in the City, a nonprofit organization.

Eden Cohen, Managing Editor

English Education students have planned a donation drive as part of their class.

Students of professor Katie Monsour’s English Language Learners class are conducting the drive to fulfill a social-action requirement.

Students collected school supplies for Summer in the City, a Johnstown nonprofit that teaches and supervises children during summer, class member Katie Torres said.

Class members evaluated their community’s needs and generated ideas to help satisfy them, Monsour said. Members then voted on which idea to pursue, and supporting Summer in the City won, Monsour said.

Torres said they decided to help Summer in the City because they share similar goals.

“(The nonprofit’s) aim (is) to empower students by enriching their reading, writing, mathematical and social skills,” Torres said.

Torres said she and her classmates invited Summer in the City representatives to speak about their project yesterday. Attendees were encouraged to bring school supplies to donate to Summer in the City, Torres said.

Class members are to accept donations until Nov. 25.

Torres said, by having attendees donate supplies, she hoped to help Summer in the City’s economic situation.

“With more supplies, counselors and tutors would be able to provide more materials to each student, enhancing their experience,” Torres said.

Monsour said she hopes that her students also will benefit from helping the nonprofit.

“My students learn about their communities and their (the communities’) needs,” Monsour said. “They learn to work as a whole group and learn empathy.”

Monsour said having a social action component of her class is part of a research-supported method for teaching the class.

Last spring, her class focused on domestic violence, she said. Her class invited a local agency representative to conduct an informative session on domestic violence and read survivor stories.

Torres said helping Summer in the City will tighten university relations with the surrounding community.

“We aim to make our university and community connect,” she said.